Rural counties face vaccine distribution challenges
MAGOFFIN CO., Ky. (WKYT) - With a population of less than 13,000 people, a small Kentucky county is working hard to vaccinate the community.
“We can do the job if we can get the vaccines,” said Magoffin County Health Department Director, James Shepherd.
The Magoffin County Health Department received 500 vaccines to start.
“300 of those are for the general public, or 70 and older, 1A and 1B tiers. And we got 200 for school personnel.”
Health Department Director James Shepherd said they were able to vaccinate all healthcare workers and first responders who requested it.
“We gave all the first doses out. We got our school personnel done this week. So now all we’re doing now is our second doses.”
But with only 500 doses to start, there’s still many in the 70 and older category who haven’t been vaccinated yet.
“The problem is we don’t have a hospital in our county, so they do have to travel to another county to get the vaccine right now. So that’s kind of putting us in a bind,” Shepherd explained.
For many, a 30 to 45 minute drive just isn’t doable. Which means those most vulnerable to the virus, aren’t getting vaccinated.
“I think the State’s got an additional 8800 doses for this coming week. They’re saying some of the local health departments might be getting some 100 or 200 dose allotments to give to the 70 and older, so hopefully we will.”
Positive his department can give out the doses, just as quickly as they receive them. Shepherd hoping that date isn’t too far away.
“Most of them just like our local health department. I know everybody, they’re all my friends and my kinfolk. They wanted to come to the health department, but they understand. They’ve been patient with us and they are signing up. I know a lot of them have been getting the vaccine now, so that’s the main thing. To get vaccinated,” said Shepherd.
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